This book is more than a history of the United States. It is Samuel Eliot Morison's "legacy" to his countrymen and aims "to re-create for my readers American ways of living in bygone eras." (Preface p vii) The mixture of political, social and economic history is presented without the academic baggage of footnotes.
The narrative flow combined with exquisite detail sets this history above others. The author Samuel Eliot Morison (1887- 1976) served in the Second World War, wrote the monumental 15 volume History of U.S. Naval Operations in World War Two, and talked with almost every U.S. President of the 20th century up to JFK. The storytelling continues over 1100 pages from prehistory America to 1963. One can take a section at a time, for example the story of the colonial Puritans, Washington's First Administration, Manifest Destiny and the New Deal. My favorites are those chapters on armed conflict, particularly the War of Independence and the Civil War. The author's military background is evident. Critics will say there isn't enough Black history or that the poor do not have a voice. There are, however, books that will address those topics. The author chose to write classic history as his legacy to the American people. And a hundred years from now, this history will still be read for its fine prose.